Document:American War Machine

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Disclaimer (#3)Document.png book introduction  by Peter Dale Scott dated 2010-11-01
ISBN: 978-1-4422-0589-5
Subjects: Deep state, Deep politics, Global drug trade, Military-industrial-congressional complex
Source: American War Machine

Wikispooks Comment
This introduction is a precis of the entire book which analyses the hidden mechanisms behind the exercise of real power in the Western World. The book is a culmination and synthesis of all of the author's earlier work on 'Deep Events' and the 'Deep State. Together with the work of Ola Tunander on the same subjects, it is a highly recommended for anyone seeking more than superficial understanding of the predicament of 21st Century humanity.

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Deep History and the Global Drug Connection

Two Researchers Encounter a Deep Event

If by terrorism we mean “the use of violence to intimidate,” then in September 1971 the historian Alfred McCoy and I witnessed a minor California terrorist incident. A Vietnam veteran of Special Forces living in East Palo Alto who had seen opium loaded onto the CIA’s Air America airplanes in Asia agreed on my telephone to be interviewed by the two of us. But when we arrived at his house the next morning, he had changed his mind. Motioning to us not to speak, he led us back down his front-door steps to his sports car, an MG. Overnight someone had warned him not to talk to us by burning a large hole in its steel door, with what he said could only have been a sophisticated implosion device, of the sort used by his old unit.[1]

One might think that such a vivid and incongruous event could hardly be forgotten, especially since it had clearly been generated by knowledge of what had been spoken on my telephone. But in fact for more than a decade, I totally suppressed my memory of it, even through the first two years of a determined poetic search to recover just such suppressed memories. [2]

And so, as I rightly suspected, had Alfred McCoy. In the preface to the 2003 edition of his monumental classic, The Politics of Heroin, he writes in prose about his own bizarre suppression of the same facts:

I landed in San Francisco for a stay with poet and Berkeley professor Peter Dale Scott. He put me in touch with an ex-Green Beret, just back from covert operations in Laos, who told me, over the phone, of seeing CIA aircraft loading opium. He agreed to be interviewed on the record. The next morning, we knocked at his door in an East Palo Alto apartment complex. We never got inside. He was visibly upset, saying he “had gotten the message.” What happened? “Follow me,” he said, leading us across the parking lot to his MG sports car. He pointed at something on the passenger door and named a chemical explosive that that could melt a hole in sheet metal. It was, he said, a signal to shut up. I looked but cannot recall seeing. The next day, I flew to Los Angeles, visited my mother, and then flew on to Saigon, forgetting the incident. [3]

As I began to recall this episode in a different millennium, the incident itself seemed less surprising. The nation was then in turmoil, and even nonviolent antiwar protesters like myself were subject to ongoing surveillance. Much worse things were happening. In San Diego, “Vigilantes led by an FBI informant wrecked [an antiwar] paper’s printing equipment, firebombed the car of one staffer, and nearly shot to death another.” [4] In Chicago in the same period, “The army’s 113th Military Intelligence Group . . . provided money, tear-gas bombs, MACE, and electronic surveillance equipment to the Legion of Justice thugs whom the Chicago Red Squad turned loose on local anti-war groups.” [5]

The crimes I have just recalled, in Palo Alto, San Diego, and Chicago, are examples of what I first conceptualized as deep state violence and would now call deep force violence (violence from an unexplained or unauthorized source). There are many varieties of this deep non–state-sanctioned violence as so conceived. In most cases illegal violence is an assignment handed off by an established agency to organized groups outside the law. There are also cases of proxy violence when the delegation of violence is not to nonstate actors but to agencies of other governments.

Finally, there are cases in which the violence reinforces the de facto power structure of the country without directly involving the CIA or other established official agencies at all. Such violence may be affirmatively sanctioned by members of the established power structure. Or it may be passively sanctioned by failure to punish those responsible. Unprosecuted lynchings were the de facto enforcement of illegally segregated Jim Crow society in the American South. Land grabs in the American West were achieved with press-encouraged violence against native Americans, many of them nonviolent, who originally lived there. [6] This cultural tolerance of violence and murder spilled over into other aspects of American life, notably union busting. (In the 1914 Ludlow massacre, during a mineworkers strike against the Rockefeller-owned Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, only one member of the strikebreakers was convicted, and he was given only a light reprimand. [7])

Most of us (including myself) don’t like to dwell on such disturbing practices inside America, which is why McCoy and I both repressed what happened in East Palo Alto. But they persist, in America and throughout the world. And one reason they persist is precisely because of our reluctance to think about them.

Elsewhere I have written of civilization as “a great conspiracy/of organized denial.” [8] I mean by this the creation of a partly illusory mental space in which unpleasant facts, such as that all Western empires have been established through major atrocities, are conveniently suppressed. [9] I say this as one who believes passionately in civilization and fears that by excessive denial our own civilization is indeed becoming threatened.

There are social and political consequences of failing to acknowledge and deal with forces of violence at work in America and the ways in which they frequently collaborate with police and intelligence agencies that are mandated to protect the American public. The fact that we suppress such discordant details of violence probably contributes to our individual mental health. But this suppression leads to a collective politics that is increasingly unreal and ineffective, as major abuses cease altogether to be addressed.

In discussing sanctioned criminality and violence, I hope to restore one such area of suppressed memory. But the writing of this book has led me to understand my experience in Palo Alto—and indeed all such sanctioned violence—as examples of what I now call deep events: events that are systematically ignored, suppressed, or falsified in public (and even internal) government, military, and intelligence documents as well as in the mainstream media and public consciousness. Underlying them is frequently the involvement of deep forces linked either to the drug traffic or to agencies of surveillance (or to both together) whose activities are extremely difficult to discern or document.

A clearly defined deep event will combine both internal features — evidence, such as a discernible cover-up, that aspects are being suppressed — and external features — an ongoing and perhaps irresoluble controversy as to what happened. Some deep events — the 1968 assassinations, the Tonkin Gulf incidents, and 9/11 — clearly have both features. Others do not. For example, the 1898 sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor continues to spark debate and investigations, even though the case that it was a false-flag operation is usually presented without any persuasive evidence. [10]

In my experience, deep events are better understood collectively than in isolation. When looked at together, they constitute a larger pattern, that of deep history. For some years, beginning before 9/11, I have noted that from time to time America’s recorded or archival history has been disrupted by deep events such as the John F. Kennedy assassination. These events are attributed publicly to marginal and unthreatening agents — like Lee Harvey Oswald. But cumulatively, the historical succession of deep events — such as Dallas, Watergate, and 9/11 — has impacted more and more profoundly on America’s political situation. More specifically, as I shall argue, America’s major foreign wars are typically preceded by deep events like the Tonkin Gulf incidents, 9/11, or the 2001 anthrax attacks. This suggests that what I call the war machine in Washington (including but not restricted to elements in the Pentagon and the CIA) may have been behind them.

After completing the later chapters of this book, I have come to state this conclusion more forcefully. Since 1959, most of America’s foreign wars have been wars 1) induced preemptively by the U.S. war machine and/or 2) disguised as responses to unprovoked enemy aggression, with disguises repeatedly engineered by deception deep events, involving in some way elements of the global drug connection.

Also, since completing this book, I have an even clearer picture of America’s overall responsibility for the huge increases in global drug trafficking since World War II. This is exemplified by the more than doubling of Afghan opium drug production since the United States invaded that country in 2001. But the U.S. responsibility for the present dominant role of Afghanistan in the global heroin traffic has merely replicated what had happened earlier in Burma, Thailand, and Laos between the late 1940s and the 1970s. These countries also only became factors in the international drug traffic as a result of CIA assistance (after the French, in the case of Laos) to what would otherwise have been only local traffickers.

This book goes back in time to the late 1940s and 1950s and the murky circumstances under which the CIA began to facilitate drug trafficking in South and Southeast Asia, culminating in Afghanistan. Writing it has enabled me to have further thoughts about the Palo Alto incident and particularly the importance of its date—September 1971. As we shall see, this was a time of a major change in the U.S. relationship to the Southeast Asian drug traffic. In June 1971, Nixon had declared a War on Drugs, and Laos in that same September, under instructions from the U.S. embassy, had just made opium trafficking illegal.

After two decades of CIA assistance to drug-trafficking warlords in Burma and Laos, elements in the CIA were now beginning to leak significant if partial stories about this situation to papers like the New York Times.[11] Al McCoy, my fellow witness in Palo Alto, had himself just been briefed in Washington about the politics of heroin by CIA veterans like Edward Lansdale and Lucien Conein.[12] A little earlier, a researcher on the University of California campus, with whom I (as I then thought) had initiated contact, advised me to look into the record of hitherto unknown details such as the career of Paul Helliwell and the CIA proprietary Sea Supply, Inc. It developed that he too was a CIA veteran. I now suspect (as I did not at the time) that I was being fed leads by my source as part of a larger scenario. Was the CIA project of disclosure being opposed in Palo Alto by another deep force determined to stop it? Or were the two apparent deep forces really one, working in Palo Alto to set limits to a predefined limited hangout? I still do not know, but writing this book has helped me to better understand the relevant historical developments in 1971 (see chapter 6).

In earlier versions of this book, I attributed the sanctioned violence of the Palo Alto incident, like the Letelier assassination I discuss next, to the CIA’s global drug connection. But that statement does not solve a mystery: it opens one up. As a matter of description, it sounds more precise than terms I have used in earlier books: “the dark quadrant” from which parapolitical events emerge or “the unrecognized Force X operating in the world,” which I suggested might help explain 9/11.[13] But the precision is misleading: in this book I am indeed attempting to denote and describe a deep force, or forces, that I do not fully understand.

This mystery underlies, for example, the careers of men like Willis Bird and Paul Helliwell or of institutions like the Bank of Credit and Commerce International that were of use to both the CIA and the international drug trade. And I shall argue that if we do not focus more on this neglected aspect of the American war machine, we shall never come to grips with the forces behind the ill-starred U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

Drugs, the State, and the Letelier Assassination

A serious manifestation of sanctioned violence (or, if you will, of a mysterious deep force) was the 1976 assassination of former Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier in the streets of Washington. This was a covertly arranged deep event, an event in which key facts were certain from the outset to be suppressed, an event that mainstream information systems failed to discuss candidly, and an event that earned for those few scholars who have studied it the derisive label of “conspiracy theorists.”

Some basic facts about the Letelier assassination have slowly come to light over a quarter century and are now mostly no longer contested. It is now known that Letelier was killed on orders from the Chilean intelligence agency DINA, with the aid of a supranational collaborative assassination apparatus, Operation Condor, which the CIA had helped to create. [14] We shall look more closely at Condor and its drug connections in this book. What is particularly relevant here is that DINA, Condor, and the Cuban Americans who were involved in Letelier’s assassination were all also involved in drug trafficking.

There were American aspects to the killing as well as Chilean ones. [15] Shortly before the murder, secretary of state Kissinger blocked a proposed urgent State Department warning to Latin American Condor states not to engage in assassinations.[16] Two days after the killing, CIA Director George H. W. Bush received a memo reporting the speculation (which proved to be accurate) “that, if Chilean Govt did order Letelier’s killing, it may have hired [Miami] Cuban thugs to do it.”[17] Yet for weeks after the killing, the U.S. press ran stories that (as the New York Times put it) the FBI and CIA “had virtually ruled out the idea that Mr. Letelier was killed by agents of the Chilean military junta.” [18] The CIA had evidence in its files against DINA when the FBI went to meet with Bush about CIA cooperation on the Letelier murder probe. But Bush did not turn over those files, making him arguably guilty of obstructing justice. [19]

I agree with John Prados that in all this, the CIA was complicit in DINA’s and Condor’s terrorism:

The reluctance of U.S. authorities to investigate links between the Letelier assassination and DINA is a measure of the collusion at that point between Washington and Chile. Condor became in effect a terrorist network. . . . Through its actions in Chile the Central Intelligence Agency contributed to the inception of this horror. . . . In particular there is clear evidence that the Letelier assassination could have been prevented but was not. [20]

Even in the best accounts of the Letelier assassination, the drug aspect of the killing is usually ignored. Yet, as we shall see, the Cuban Nationalist Movement, from which Letelier’s Cuban assassins were picked, was reported to be financing itself through drug smuggling organized by DINA. [21] That the U.S. government covered up a drug-financed assassination in its own capital is another fact I continually repress from my own mind, even though I have twice written about it in the past. It is one more clue to a larger pattern easily repressed, that is, of recurring drug traffic involvement in CIA-related assassinations.

The continuous U.S. involvement in the global drug connection, one of the main themes explored in this book, is a destructive pattern that persists to this day. In the next chapter, I shall argue that it is not a self-contained activity, extrinsic to the basic sociopolitical structure of America, but an integral cause and part of a larger war machine, an apparatus with a settled purpose fixed on achieving and maintaining global American dominance.

Deep Events and Illegally Sanctioned Violence

I call the Letelier murder a deep event because the involvement of protected covert assets made it an event that would, at least initially, be covered up rather than exposed by the mainstream American media. Furthermore, the forces underlying it were too deeply interwoven with backdoor intelligence operations to be promptly resolved by the normal procedures of law enforcement. It was thus an example of sanctioned violence, by which I mean not that it was affirmatively approved in advance by Americans (on this point I have no information) but that at all stages the perpetrators were protected by others in higher authority.

Many Americans are at least dimly aware that we have had a number of similar deep events involving this form of sanctioned violence in the past half century. Some of these, including the murders of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy, have had significant structural influence on the subsequent evolution of American political history. I have argued in The Road to 9/11 that we should consider the attack of 9/11 as yet another example of a deep event, another chapter in our nation’s deep history.

The problem of illegally sanctioned and protected violence—violence regularly suppressed from our consciousness—is not necessarily attributable to the state as we normally think of it. We do not know if any state was directly involved in the recent unexplained murder of an Italian banker, Roberto Calvi, related to scandals at the Vatican bank, and it has even been argued that Pope John Paul I was murdered by those involved in these same scandals. But where there is cover-up, as in the Calvi case, the murderers have profited from a state connection.[22]

Inside the United States, the CIA’s involvement with sanctioned violence is inseparable from the occasional resort to the violence of organized crime by U.S. business. This is a long history, from the involvement of gangs with fruit companies in the nineteenth century and in newspaper circulation wars soon after; to the use of mobsters to combat labor unions by Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and others; to the corrupt takeover of unions in the transport, garment, hotel, and entertainment industries; and possibly to the death in a plane crash of United Auto Workers leader Walter Reuther.[23]

The politically minded rich, or what I have called the overworld, have reasons to tolerate mob violence that never occur to those of lesser means. At a minimum they are often not unhappy to see local law enforcement in cities like Chicago or New Orleans weakened generally by mob corruption. Frequently they will turn to the same elements, on a local or national level, to influence corrupt legislators themselves. And sometimes they will turn to mob violence to achieve their own private political goals, with more impunity abroad in banana republics but occasionally also at home.

This history has never been properly written. But organized crime’s role in corrupting politics and politicians served the purpose of business interests who wished on occasion to do the same. And when the CIA came to use mobsters for violence — such as John Roselli, Sam Giancana, and Santos Trafficante in the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro — they too turned to the same resources.[24] In so doing, they made the same drug connections that older multinational firms like American and Foreign Power had made before them around the world — a classic example being the lease on a Havana racetrack that in 1937 was granted to Meyer Lansky by the National City Bank of New York (now Citibank).[25]

I conclude from these business examples that in studying the politics of violence, we should look at the entire template of unrecognized or deep power that maintains a violent status quo in our society, a template that embraces bureaucracies, intelligence agencies, business, and even media. The drug traffic itself is part of this wider template and a recurring factor in our deep history. So is that part of the overworld that launders drug money or hires criminals for its private needs. Many ordinary people, in an extraordinary number of urban locations, are more governed in their daily lives by their debts to local drug traffickers than by their debts to the public state. They know that if they fail to pay their taxes, they face fines or even prison, but if they fail to meet a drug debt, someone, perhaps a loved one, may be killed.

Max Weber defined the successful modern state as something that “successfully upholds a claim on the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence [Gewaltmonopol] in the enforcement of its order.”[26] It is against this illusory ideal, subscribed to by most political scientists, that many states have recently been judged to be weak states (if the monopoly is successfully challenged) or failed states (if its claim can no longer be sustained).

My own thinking is that Weber’s definition falsely invests the public state with a structural coherence that in fact it does not possess, never has possessed, and possesses even less as democracy develops. Even in America, one of the more successful states, there has always been a negative space in which overworld, corporate power, and privately organized violence all have access to and utilize each other, and rules are enforced by powers that do not derive from the public state.

Perhaps the most striking example of such nonstate rule was the city of Chicago after World War II. A 1962 murder conviction, after an FBI investigation ordered by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, marked the first Chicago conviction in an organized crime slaying since 1934—a period of almost three decades marked by about a thousand unsolved murders.[27] Several major “legitimate” fortunes, of national scope, had their origins in Chicago mob-based corruption, and the mob’s domination of Chicago City Hall created a climate of selective nonenforcement in which the best-connected private capitalists thrived.

One of the first acts of the newly created National Security Council in 1947 was to launder “over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the [Italian] election [of 1948].” [28] This use of off-the-books financing for criminal activities was institutionalized in 1948 with the creation of a covert Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), whose charge was to engage in “subversion against hostile states.” [29] As a consequence, the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, which in 1952 absorbed the OPC, has become accustomed to the routine breaking of foreign laws on a daily basis. According to a congressional staff study, “A safe estimate is that several hundred times every day (easily 100,000 times a year) operations officers engage in highly illegal activities (according to foreign law) that not only risk political embarrassment to the United States but also endanger the freedom if not lives of the participating foreign nations and, more than occasionally, of the clandestine officer himself.” [30]

OPC enlisted drug traffickers in Europe as allies in defending the states of Western Europe from the risks of a communist or Russian takeover. In Southeast Asia it did more than just make alliances with drug traffickers; through Operation Paper (see the following discussion), it armed and assisted its drug proxies to build up and control an expanded international opium and heroin traffic. We shall see that OPC’s purposes in doing so were not (as in Europe) essentially defensive; in the absence of other reliable allies it used drug financing to help develop an offensive anticommunist force that became largely responsible, in 1959, for the relaunching of war in Indochina. We are still dealing today with the problem of the OPC-assisted drug traffic, now largely relocated from Southeast Asia to Afghanistan. This book will show how the U.S. use of drug proxies in Asia, combined with the absorption in 1952 of OPC into the U.S. bureaucracy, helped convert the traditional U.S. defense establishment in Europe into something different in Asia, an offensive American war machine. [31]

OPC in its inception was completely dominated by New York Social Register members of the Wall Street overworld, like its director Frank Wisner. But both the state and its relations to deep forces have evolved considerably since the 1940s. The CIA in particular was partially bureaucratized and subjected to a measure of bureaucratic oversight by Congress.

This was followed by the creation of new institutions designed specifically to escape accountability to Congress. The most concrete example is the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) created under the Pentagon in 1980, which appears to play a similar role. In Iran, for example, JSOC appears to have made contact with at least two resistance groups that are also involved in drug trafficking.[32]

Today perhaps the most notorious emblem of nonaccountable deep power (if not the most important) is Blackwater, now officially renamed Xe Services.[33] After CIA Director Leon Panetta announced in June 2009 that he had cancelled the CIA’s assassination program, The Nation reported that Blackwater was continuing to assassinate in a nonaccountable program with JSOC:

At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, “snatch and grabs” of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found. [34]

We shall discuss Blackwater later. What I wish to point out now is how antithetical is the background of Blackwater’s owner, Erik Prince, to the old-wealth establishment figures of OPC in 1948. Prince is a new-wealth capitalist from the Midwest, the bulk of whose fortune comes from his contracts with the war machine he is part of. His father, Edgar Prince, was a leading member (and his mother president) of the Dallas-based Council for National Policy, a far-right nationalist group expressly created to counter the internationalist policies of New York’s Council on Foreign Relations.

The shift from OPC to Blackwater epitomizes the shift in America over a half century from a civilian-based economy to a war-based economy, from internationalism to nationalism, from a defense establishment to an offense establishment. The key to that shift can be seen in the troubled politics of the 1970s, the result of which was the perpetuation of the war machine enlarged by the Vietnam War.

Operation Condor was part of that troubled 1970s history. As we shall see, it was CIA-sponsored and, in assassinating Letelier, was able to extend its operations into Washington, the seat of American government.

Creating an International Islamist Army: Casey, BCCI, and the Creation of Al-Qaeda

The other most significant case in which the CIA became a front for sanctioned violence was CIA Director William Casey’s use of the CIA in the 1980s to promote his own plans for Afghanistan. Casey’s Afghan initiatives aroused the concern of the CIA’s professional operatives and analysts, including his deputy directors, Bobby Ray Inman and John McMahon.[35] But this did not deter Casey from making high-level decisions about the Afghan campaign outside regular channels when meeting in secret with foreigners.

One man Casey dealt with in this fashion was Agha Hasan Abedi, a close adviser to General Zia of Pakistan and, more important, the head of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI):

Abedi helped arrange Casey’s sojourns in Islamabad and met with the CIA director during visits to Washington. Typically, Abedi would stay in a hotel and Casey would go to his suite. The two men, who met intermittently over a three-year period, would spend hours talking about the war in Afghanistan, the Iran-Contra arms trades, Pakistani politics, and the situation in the Persian Gulf. [36]

The CIA later reported that it had no records of any such meetings. Members of Senator John Kerry’s staff, who investigated this relationship, concluded that Casey in his dealings with Abedi may have been acting not as CIA director but as an adviser to President Reagan, so that his actions were “undocumented, fully deniable, and effectively irretrievable.” [37] (Casey’s dealings with BCCI may not have been at arm’s length: the weapons pipeline Afghanistan allegedly involved funding through a BCCI affiliate in Oman, in which Casey’s close friend and business associate Bruce Rappaport had a financial interest. [38])

Unquestionably BCCI offered Casey an opportunity to conduct off-the-books operations, such as the Iran-Contra arms deal, in which BCCI was intimately involved. But the largest of these operations by far was the support to the Afghan mujahideen resistance against the Soviet invaders, where once again BCCI played a major role. Casey repeatedly held similar meetings with General Zia in Pakistan (arranged by Abedi) [39] and with Saudi intelligence chiefs Kamal Adham and Prince Turki al-Faisal (both BCCI shareholders). As a result of such conclaves, Prince Turki distributed more than $1 billion in cash to Afghan guerrillas, which was matched by another billion from the CIA. “When the Saudis provided the funding, the administration was able to bypass Congress.” [40] Meanwhile “BCCI handled transfers of funds through its Pakistani branches and acted as a collection agency for war matériel and even for the mujahedin’s pack animals”: [41]

To access the CIA money was relatively easy. Bags of dollar bills were flown into Pakistan and handed over to Lieutenant General Akhtar Abdur Rahman, the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] director. Rahman banked the cash in ISI accounts held by the National Bank of Pakistan, the Pakistan-controlled Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) and the Bank of Oman (one-third owned by the BCCI). [42]

Yet there is not a word about BCCI in Ghost Wars, Steve Coll’s otherwise definitive history of the CIA’s campaign in Afghanistan. Similarly there is no mention of BCCI in Coll’s excellent book The Bin Ladens, even though he provides an extended description of how Prince Turki arranged for “transfers of government cash to Pakistan.” [43]

Casey’s involvement with BCCI was not just a backdoor operation with a bank; it was a multi-billion-dollar backdoor operation with a criminal bank accused, even by its own insiders, of

global involvement with drug shipments, smuggled gold, stolen military secrets, assassinations, bribery, extortion, covert intelligence operations, and weapons deals. These were the province of a Karachi-based cadre of bank operatives, paramilitary units, spies, and enforcers who handled BCCI’s darkest operations around the globe and trafficked in bribery and corruption. [44]

There were huge and lasting historical consequences from Casey’s apparently unilateral decision to work with BCCI. One was that BCCI’s drug clients in Pakistan and Afghanistan, notably Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, emerged in the 1980s, with protection from General Zia, as dominant figures in an expanded Afghan heroin drug traffic that continues to afflict the world. [45] (According to McCoy, BCCI “played a critical role in facilitating the movement of Pakistani heroin money that reached $4 billion by 1989, more than the country’s legal exports.” [46])

A second consequence was that many of the CIA funds intended for the Afghan mujahideen were instead siphoned off by ISI and redirected to Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) for the successful development of Pakistan’s atomic bomb. “Although the European intelligence community frequently warned of fraudulent activities between BCCI, the BCCI Foundation and KRL, the Reagan administration continually denied there was a problem.” [47] In turn the head of the labs, Abdul Qadeer Khan, “created a vast network that has spread nuclear know-how to North Korea, Iran and Libya.” [48] In 2008 the Swiss government allegedly seized and destroyed, from the computers of just one network member, nuclear bomb blueprints and manuals on how to manufacture weapons-grade uranium for warheads, but investigators feared that these might nonetheless still be circulating on the international black market. [49]

A third consequence was that Casey could help build up the foreign legion of so-called Arab Afghans in Afghanistan, even though the CIA hierarchy in Langley rightly “thought this unwise.” [50] It was this foreign legion which in 1988 redefined itself as al-Qaeda.[51]

Such can be the consequences of ill-considered covert operations conceived by very small cabals!

U.S. Responsibility for the Flood of Heroin in the World

Here is yet another fact that is so alien to our normal view of reality that I myself find it hard to keep in mind: U.S. backdoor covert foreign policy has been the largest single cause of the illicit drugs flooding the world today. It is worth contemplating for a moment the legacy of CIA-supported drug proxies in just two areas — the Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent. In 2003, according to the United Nations, these two areas accounted for 91 percent of the area devoted to illicit opium production and 95 percent of the estimated product in metric tons. (Add in Colombia and Mexico, two other countries where the CIA has worked with drug traffickers, and the four areas accounted for 96.6 percent of the growing area and 97.8 percent of the estimated product. [52])

The CIA’s covert operations were not the sole cause for this flood of opium and heroin. But the de facto protection conferred on sectors of the opium trade by CIA involvement is clearly a major historical factor for the world crime scourge today.

When the CIA airline CAT began its covert flights to Burma in the 1950s, the area produced about eighty tons of opium a year. In ten years’ time, production had perhaps quadrupled, and at one point during the Vietnam War the output from the Golden Triangle reached 1,200 tons a year. By 1971, there were also at least seven heroin labs in the region, one of which, close to the CIA base at Ban Houei Sai in Laos, produced an estimated 3.6 tons of heroin a year. [53]

Afghan opium production has been even more responsive to U.S. operations in the area. It soared from 200 metric tons in 1980, the first full year of U.S. support for the drug-trafficking mujahideen Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, to 1,980 metric tons in 1991, when both the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to terminate their aid. [54] After 1979 Afghan opium and heroin entered the world market significantly for the first time and rose from roughly 0 to 60 percent of U.S. consumption by 1980. [55] In Pakistan there were hardly any drug addicts in 1979; the number had risen to over 800,000 by 1992. [56]

In 2000–2001 the Taliban virtually eliminated opium production in their area of Afghanistan. Thus total production for 2001 was 185 metric tons. Nearly all of this was from the northeastern corner controlled by the drug-trafficking Northern Alliance, which in that year became America’s ally in its invasion. Once again production soared after the U.S. invasion in 2001, in part because the United States recruited former drug traffickers as supporting assets in its assault. From 3,400 metric tons in 2002, it climbed steadily until “in 2007 Afghanistan produced an extraordinary 8,200 tons of opium (34% more than in 2006), becoming practically the exclusive supplier of the world’s deadliest drug (93% of the global opiates market).” [57]

The conspicuous (and rarely acknowledged) fact that backdoor aspects of U.S. policies have been a major causal factor in today’s drug flows does not of course mean that the United States has control over the situations it has produced. What it does indicate is that repeatedly, as a Brookings Institution expert wrote of the U.S. Afghan intervention of 1979–1980, “drug control evidently became subordinated to larger strategic goals.”[58] Congress has done nothing to alter these priorities and is not likely to do so soon.

The CIA shares responsibility not only for the increase in global drug production but also for significant smuggling into the United States. This was demonstrated by two indictments by the U.S. Department of Justice in the mid-1990s. In March 1997, Michel-Joseph François, the CIA-backed police chief in Haiti, was indicted in Miami for having helped to smuggle thirty-three tons of Colombian cocaine and heroin into the United States. The Haitian National Intelligence Service (SIN), which the CIA helped to create, was also a target of the Justice Department investigation that led to the indictment. [59]

A few months earlier, General Ramon Guillén Davila, chief of a CIA- created antidrug unit in Venezuela, was indicted in Miami for smuggling a ton of cocaine into the United States. According to the New York Times, “The CIA, over the objections of the Drug Enforcement Administration, approved the shipment of at least one ton of pure cocaine to Miami International Airport as a way of gathering information about the Colombian drug cartels.” Time magazine reported that a single shipment amounted to 998 pounds, following earlier ones “totaling nearly 2,000 pounds.” [60] Mike Wallace confirmed that “the CIA-national guard undercover operation quickly accumulated this cocaine, over a ton and a half that was smuggled from Colombia into Venezuela.” [61] According to the Wall Street Journal, the total amount of drugs smuggled by General Guillén may have been more than twenty-two tons. [62]

But the United States never asked for Guillén’s extradition from Venezuela to stand trial, and in 2007, when he was arrested in Venezuela for plotting to assassinate President Hugo Chavez, his indictment was still sealed in Miami.[63] Meanwhile, CIA officer Mark McFarlin, whom Drug Enforcement Administration] (DEA) Chief Bonner had also wished to indict, was never indicted at all; he merely resigned.[64]

François and Guillén were part of an interconnected network of CIA-protected drug-trafficking intelligence networks south of the U.S. border, including the SIN of Vladimiro Montesinos in Peru, the G-2 of Manuel Noriega in Panama, the G-2 of Leonidas Torres Arias in Honduras, and, perhaps above all, the DFS of Miguel Nazar Haro and Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios in Mexico.[65]

But the Guillén case transcends all the others both in size and also because in this case, as former DEA Chief Robert Bonner explained on 60 Minutes, the CIA clearly broke the law:

[MIKE] WALLACE [voiceover]: Until last month, Judge Robert Bonner was the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA. And Judge Bonner explained to us that only the head of the DEA is authorized to approve the transportation of any illegal narcotics, like cocaine, into this country, even if the CIA is bringing it in.
Judge BONNER: Let me put it this way, Mike. If this has not been approved by DEA or an appropriate law-enforcement authority in the United States, then it’s illegal. It’s called drug trafficking. It’s called drug smuggling.
WALLACE: So what you’re saying, in effect, is the CIA broke the law; simple as that.
Judge BONNER: I don’t think there’s any other way you can rationalize around it, assuming, as I think we can, that there was some knowledge on the part of CIA. At least some participation in approving or condoning this to be done. (Footage of Wallace and Bonner; the CIA seal)
WALLACE: (Voiceover) Judge Bonner says he came to that conclusion after a two-year secret investigation conducted by the DEA’s Office of Professional Responsibility, in cooperation with the CIA’s own inspector general. [66]

According to Time, “The stated purpose of the scheme was to help one of the Venezuelan general’s agents win the confidence of Colombia’s drug lords,” specifically the Medellin cartel.[67] But by facilitating multiton shipments, the CIA was becoming part of the Colombian drug scene (just as, we shall see, it became in the 1950s an integral part of the Burma–Laos–Thailand drug scene). As I wrote in Drugs, Oil, and War,

The CIA can (and does) point to its role in the arrest or elimination of a number of major Colombian traffickers. These arrests have not diminished the actual flow of cocaine into the United States, which on the contrary reached a new high in 2000. But they have institutionalized the relationship of law enforcement to rival cartels and visibly contributed to the increase of urban cartel violence. The true purpose of most of these campaigns, like the current Plan Colombia, has not been the hopeless ideal of eradication. It has been to alter market share: to target specific enemies and thus ensure that the drug traffic remains under the control of those traffickers who are allies of the Colombian state security apparatus and/or the CIA. This confirms the judgment of Senate investigator Jack Blum a decade ago, that America, instead of battling a narcotics conspiracy, has “in a subtle way . . . become part of that conspiracy.” [68]

The fact that the CIA, two decades ago, became involved in facilitating massive shipments of cocaine impels us to consider the recent allegation by a Russian general that “drugs are often transported out of Afghanistan on American planes.” [69] We will consider this question at the end of this book.

Sanctioned Violence, Off-the-Books Violence, and the Global Drug Connection

As I argued in The Road to 9/11, the compelling conclusion one draws from anecdotes such as the Guillén Davila story is that secrecy in American decision making, although sometimes necessary for protecting our security, has grown to become a significant threat to American security. America does not lack experts who can see a proper course in dealing with the rest of the world. But we suffer from a hierarchy of secrecy that ensures that these experts can and will be overridden by small cabals with much more restricted, foolish, and often dangerous objectives. This deferral of public power has created what some have called (following Madison), an imperium in imperio. [70]

I hope in this book to persuade readers to set aside their doubts and consider that, for sixty years, backdoor covert operations and in particular the drug–security relationship have had a powerful influence on the evolution of America’s posture in relation to the rest of the world. And if this narrative is at all persuasive, one has to ask also whether the catastrophe of 9/11 was also to some extent the product of a drug–security relationship.

There are in this country today those who argue vocally that, in a war against terror, one should not be looking critically at the methods and alliances selected by our security establishment. I hope to make the case that these alliances have done more to create the crisis we are now in than to resolve it.

But the main purpose of this book is not just to criticize or to shock but to seek a better history for this country, one that is less contaminated by the twin forces of sanctioned violence and drugs. I have already indicated that civilization and denial are closely related, and in fact the style of each helps to determine the style of the other—a matter I shall return to in my conclusion.

I wish to present three propositions to which both left and right should be able to agree:

  • first, that our country today is seriously afflicted by our security institutions to the extent that our constitutional government is altered and indeed threatened;
  • second, that these relationships are associated with episodes of sanctioned violence, violence that will not be resolved by the normal processes of law enforcement; and,
  • third, that there will be no progress in dealing with this affliction and threat until these interactions are publicly exposed and debated.

By the end of this book, we shall be looking at what I have hitherto called sanctioned violence in the light of what I call the global drug connection: a connection and milieu that in fact involves far more than merely the global drug traffic. I hope to present the global drug connection as a form of hitherto sanctioned off-the-books governance exploited by Washington. The evidence in the following chapters will, it is hoped, strengthen this disturbing hypothesis.

I will finally argue that involvement of U.S. intelligence operators and agencies in the global drug traffic and in other international criminal networks is a factor that deserves greater attention in the emerging debate over the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.


  1. ^ . He attached great importance to the fact that, while much of the steel door was burned away, the wooden floor of the car was barely charred.
  2. ^ . I narrated this recovered memory first in my poem Coming to Jakarta (New York: New Directions, 1989), 147–48, and then a second time a decade later in Minding the Darkness (New York: New Directions, 2000), 138.
  3. ^ . Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Traffic (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books/Chicago Review Press, 2003), xii, quoting Scott, Coming to Jakarta, 147–48. I believe that when I first checked with McCoy about this in 1990, his memory ended with our descending the stairs from the veteran’s home “to see something.”
  4. ^ . David E. Kaplan, “Spying on the San Diego Street Journal (and other Americans),” U.S. News & World Report, January 9, 2006, http://www.todaysalternativenews .com/index.php?event=link,150&values%5B0%5D=&values%5B1%5D=2668: “Among the Street Journal’s reporters was a young Lowell Bergman, whose later exploits as a 60 Minutes TV producer would be portrayed by Al Pacino in the movie The Insider. ‘We were targets along with a lot of other people,’ recalls Bergman. ‘By 1971 we’d all left town.’”
  5. ^ . George O’Toole, The Private Sector (New York: Norton, 1978), 145, quoted in Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 269. America in the 1960s and 1970s was engulfed in mass violence. The government’s resort to it in proxy operations was not wholly gratuitous; like many of the groups it targeted, it sincerely believed that revolution here was imminent or had already begun. But the two incidents I have just described, against nonviolent antiwar groups, must be described as surplus violence, inviting and perhaps even designed to provoke a violent response. At some point, elements of the antiwar Students for a Democratic Society did eventually — as the so-called Weathermen — resort to bombs themselves. A full history of the antiwar movement will have to assess the extent to which gratuitous government violence was a factor in leading to the Weathermen’s formation.
  6. ^ . “Those investigating American Indian history and U.S. history more generally have failed to reckon with the violence upon which the continent was built” (Ned Blackhawk, Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006], 3).
  7. ^ . Graham Adams, Age of Industrial Violence 1910–1915: The Activities and Findings of the United States Commission on Industrial Relations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971).
  8. ^ . Scott, Minding the Darkness, 137.
  9. ^ . I suspect in fact that most readers will be tempted to reject and forget my anecdote of the bombed car door as something that simply “doesn’t compute” with their own observations of America.
  10. ^ . Although this is a topic too broad for this book, I would suggest that three sorts of deep events, most of them still hotly debated, date further back in U.S. history than those associated with the postwar global dug connection: 1) provocations and/or deceptions leading to war, such as the sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania in 1915, which was instrumental in bringing America into World War I; 2) intrigues inducing policy change, as when a Supreme Court decision in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (1886) was converted (by a court reporter who happened to be a former railroad president) into a “ruling” that corporations are persons protected by the Fourteenth Amendment (see Thom Hartmann, Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights [New York: Rodale Books, 2002]); and 3) plots for leadership change, such as the alleged murder by arsenic of President Zachary Taylor in 1850 (see Michael Parenti, History as Mystery [San Francisco: City Light Books, 1999], 304), the Lincoln assassination, or General Smedley Butler and the so-called Business Plot of 1935.
  11. ^ . E.g., New York Times, June 6, 1971; McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 286–87.
  12. ^ . Among the CIA veterans interviewed by McCoy at this time were Edward Lansdale (June 17, 1971, Alexandria, Virginia), Lucien Conein (June 18, 1971, McLean, Virginia), Bernard Yoh (June 15, 1971, Washington DC), and William Young (September 8 and 14, 1971, Chiangmai).
  13. ^ . Peter Dale Scott, Crime and Cover-Up: The CIA, the Mafia, and the Dallas-Watergate Connection (Palo Alto, CA: Ramparts Press, 1977), 46–49; Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), 179.
  14. ^ . J. Patrice McSherry, Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), 42, 71.
  15. ^ . Naomi Klein, in her otherwise shrewd analysis, oversimplifies when she calls the murder “Pinochet’s most outrageous and defiant crime since the coup itself” (Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism [New York: Metropolitan/ Henry Holt, 2007], 99).
  16. ^ . Peter Kornbluh, “Kissinger Blocked Demarche on International Assassinations to Condor States,” National Security Archive, April 10, 2010, http://www.gwu .edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB312/index.htm.
  17. ^ . Peter Dale Scott, “Miami-Dade Reversal—A Cuban Terrorist Payback to Bush Family?” Pacific News Service, December 7, 2000.
  18. ^ . New York Times, October 12, 1976.
  19. ^ . Joseph J. Trento, Prelude to Terror: The Rogue CIA and the Legacy of America’s Private Intelligence Network (New York: Carroll and Graf, 2005), 81.
  20. ^ . John Prados, Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006), 424. Foreign Affairs Senior Fellow Kenneth Maxwell writing in 2004 for the Council on Foreign Relations reached the same conclusion. He noted that “other assassinations of opposition figures planned by Condor in Europe were in fact prevented because the United States tipped off the governments in question (France and Portugal) in advance” (David Maxwell, review of Peter Kornbluh, The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability (“Fleeing the Chilean Coup,” Foreign Affairs, January/February 2004), 20040101faresponse83116/william-d-rogers-kenneth-maxwell/fleeing-the-chilean -coup-the-debate-over-u-s-complicity.html). Maxwell was here simply epitomizing the detailed arguments put forward earlier by John Dinges and Peter Kornbluh. Yet both the Council on Foreign Relations and its president, Richard Haass, arguably moderates in today’s distorted political spectrum, allowed a blustering denial to be published by Kissinger associate William D. Rogers and then refused Maxwell the chance to document charges. Maxwell eventually resigned.
  21. ^ . Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: The CIA, Drugs, and Armies in Central America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 30–31, 33.
  22. ^ . Robert Hutchison, Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei (New York: St. Martin’s/Griffin, 2006), 262–65; David Yallop, In God’s Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I (New York: Carroll and Graf, 2007).
  23. ^ . Scott, Deep Politics, 99–106 (banana companies), 154–59 (newspaper circulation wars); Thomas Repetto, American Mafia: A History of Its Rise to Power (New York: Henry Holt, 2004), 206–10 (Henry Ford), 198–206 (entertainment).
  24. ^ . Thomas Repetto, Bringing Down the Mob (New York: Henry Holt, 2006), 78–81.
  25. ^ . Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (Ipswich, MA: Mary Ferrell Foundation Press, 2008), 279, citing Hank Messick, Lansky (New York: Putnam’s 1971), 89. Cf. Shanghai Power Company (American and Foreign Power) and Tu-Yueh Sheng of the Chinese Green Gang (Scott, Coming to Jakarta, 95–96).
  26. ^ . Max Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (New York: Free Press, 1964), 154.
  27. ^ . Ovid Demaris, Captive City (New York: Pocket Books, 1970), 34–35.
  28. ^ . Amy B. Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), 189, citing Christopher Andrew, For the President’s Eyes Only (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), 172.
  29. ^ . Thomas Etzold and John Gaddis, Containment: Documents on American Policy and Strategy 1945–1950 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978), 125.
  30. ^ . U.S. Congress, House, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, IC 21: The Intelligence Committee in the 21st Century (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1996), 205, quoted by John Kelly, “Crimes and Silence: the CIA’s Criminal Acts and the Media’s Silence,” in Kristina Borjesson, Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press (New York: Prometheus Books, 2002), 311.
  31. ^ . OPC’s rollback efforts in the Ukraine and Albania were by contrast ill-supported failures.
  32. ^ . Seymour M. Hersh, “Preparing the Battlefield,” New Yorker, July 7, 2008,; Syed Saleem Shahzad, “Where Pakistan’s Militants Go to Ground,” Asia Times, October 23, 2009, Hersh writes that JSOC’s “strategy of using ethnic minorities to undermine Iran is flawed.” In later chapters I shall similarly criticize the CIA’s use of Hmong in Laos and Tajiks in Afghanistan. JSOC was also involved in the chasing down of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, a feat achieved with the assistance of Colombia’s Cali Cartel.
  33. ^ . Adam Ciralsky, “Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy,” Vanity Fair, January 2010,
  34. ^ . Jeremy Scahill, “The Secret US War in Pakistan,” The Nation, November 23, 2009,
  35. ^ . Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (New York: Penguin, 2004), 90; cf. Prados, Safe for Democracy, 489.
  36. ^ . Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin, False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, the World’s Most Corrupt Financial Empire (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992), 133.
  37. ^ . Truell and Gurwin, False Profits, 133n.
  38. ^ . U.S. Congress, Senate, The BCCI Affair, a Report to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from Senator John Kerry, Chairman, and from Senator Hank Brown, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations, December 1992, 102nd Cong., 2nd sess., Senate Report No. 102-140, “BCCI, the CIA, and Foreign Intelligence,” 320,; Alan A. Block and Constance A. Weaver, All Is Clouded by Desire: Global Banking, Money Laundering, and International Organized Crime (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004), 27–33, 83–85; Wall Street Journal, October 23, 1991; Scott, The Road to 9/11,95, 108, 325.
  39. ^ . In 1978, when the United States terminated economic assistance to Pakistan because of its nuclear program, Abedi had come to Zia’s rescue with emergency loans from BCCI (Truell and Gurwin, False Profits, 80–81).
  40. ^ . Truell and Gurwin, False Profits, 153.
  41. ^ . Truell and Gurwin, False Profits, 133.
  42. ^ . Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons (New York: Walker and Co., 2007), 125.
  43. ^ . Steve Coll, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century (New York: Penguin, 2008), 249.
  44. ^ . Jonathan Beaty and S. C. Gwynne, The Outlaw Bank: A Wild Ride into the Secret Heart of BCCI (New York: Random House, 1993), 66. Those interested in BCCI should also read the defense of the bank by Abid Ullah Jan, From BCCI to ISI: The Saga of Entrapment Continues (Ottawa: Pragmatic Publications, 2006).
  45. ^ . Beaty and Gwynne, The Outlaw Bank, 48–50; McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 479–80. Fazle Haq was the governor of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier province; at the same time he was also an important CIA contact and supporter of the Afghan mujahideen, some of whom—it was no secret—were supporting themselves by major opium and heroin trafficking through the North-West Frontier province. By 1982, Fazle Haq would be listed by Interpol as an international narcotics trafficker. However, after lengthy correspondence with Fazle Haq’s son, I am persuaded that there are no known grounds to accuse Fazle Haq of having profited personally from the drug traffic. See “Clarification from Peter Dale Scott re Fazle Haq,”,
  46. ^ . M. Emdad-ul Haq, Drugs in South Asia: From the Opium Trade to the Present Day (New York: Palgrave, 2000), 204–5, quoted in McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 480.
  47. ^ . Levy and Scott-Clark, Deception, 128.
  48. ^ . Washington Post, November 11, 2007, B01.
  49. ^ . Guardian, May 31, 2008, nuclear.internationalcrime. According to David Albright, a former UN weapons inspector in Washington, the network member, Urs Tinner, was recruited by the CIA from 1999 to 2000 and “was on the CIA payroll for a very large sum of money.
  50. ^ . Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001), 129 (Casey); Prados, Safe for Democracy, 489 (Langley).
  51. ^ . Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (New York: Knopf, 2006), 131–34.
  52. ^ . United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report, 2004,
  53. ^ . McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 162, 191, 286–87. McCoy’s estimate of the Kuomintang’s impact on expanding production is extremely conservative. According to Bertil Lintner, the foremost authority on the Shan states of Burma, “The annual production increased from a mere 30 tons at the time of independence [1945] to 600 tons in the mid-1950s” (Bertil Lintner, “Heroin and Highland Insurgency,” in Alfred W. McCoy and Alan A. Block, War on Drugs: Studies in the Failure of U.S. Narcotics Policy [Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992], 288). Furthermore, the Kuomintang’s exploitation of the Shan states led thousands of hill tribesmen to flee to northern Thailand, where opium production also increased.
  54. ^ . State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, “Opium Production in Afghanistan (1980–2005),”
  55. ^ . McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 464.
  56. ^ . Beaty and Gwynne, The Outlaw Bank, 295.
  57. ^ . Council on Foreign Relations, “Afghanistan Opium Survey, 2007,” August 2007,
  58. ^ . Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), 33.
  59. ^ . San Francisco Chronicle, March 8, 1997, A10. Francois allegedly controlled the capital, Port-au-Prince, with a network of hirelings who profited on the side from drug trafficking.
  60. ^ . Time, November 29, 1993, 0,9171,979669,00.html: “The shipments continued, however, until Guillen tried to send in 3,373 lbs. of cocaine at once. The DEA, watching closely, stopped it and pounced.” Cf. New York Times, November 23, 1996 (“one ton”).
  61. ^ . CBS News Transcripts, 60 Minutes, November 21, 1993.
  62. ^ . Wall Street Journal, November 22, 1996. The information about the drug activities of Guillen Davila and François had been published in the U.S. press years before the indictments. It is probable that, had it not been for the controversy aroused by Gary Webb’s Contra-cocaine stories in the August 1996 San Jose Mercury, these two men and their networks would have been as untouchable as other kingpins in the global CIA drug connection whom we shall discuss, such as Miguel Nassar Haro in Mexico.
  63. ^ . Chris Carlson, “Is the CIA Trying to Kill Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez?” Global Research, April 19, 2007.
  64. ^ . Douglas Valentine, The Strength of the Pack: The People, Politics and Espionage Intrigues That Shaped the DEA (Springfield, OR: TrineDay, 2009), 400; Time, November 23, 1993. McFarlin had worked with antiguerrilla forces in El Salvador in the 1980s. The CIA station chief in Venezuela, Jim Campbell, also retired.
  65. ^ . Peter Dale Scott, “Washington and the Politics of Drugs,” Variant 2, no. 11 (Summer 2000): 3–6; Scott and Marshall, Cocaine Politics, vii–xiv.
  66. ^ . CBS, 60 Minutes, November 21, 1993. Cf. Valentine, The Strength of the Pack, 400.
  67. ^ . At the time, the CIA was plotting, successfully, to bring down Pablo Escandar, chief of the Medellín cartel, using the assistance of the drug-trafficking death squad leader Carlos Castaño, who was working for the rival Cali cartel (Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 88).
  68. ^ . Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 89, citing Paul Eddy, The Cocaine Wars (New York: Norton, 1988), 342 (Blum).
  69. ^ . “Afghan Drug Trafficking Brings US $50 Billion a Year,” RussiaToday, August 20, 2009, -trafficking.html. Cf. “Russian State TV Suggests USA Involved in Drug-Trafficking from Afghanistan,” RAWANews, February 18, 2008, -afghanistan.html.
  70. ^ . David Bromwich, New York Review of Books, November 20, 2008, 33.